Update 2012: I now use a berkey water filter to remove the fluoride from our city water. I have a Travel Berkey with 2 charcoal and 2 fluoride filters.  See them here.

Some research we did in regard to fluoride, which we choose not to use with our family either topically (in tooth paste) or systemically (in water or by supplementation).  My questions are in bold, then answers, mostly as quotations, with their sources linked so you can see them for yourself in context:
*of note- I didn’t realize that ‘dental caries’ were ‘cavities’ until I was in a nutrition class in college, so I thought I’d clarify that they are the same thing.

In every case, wherever Dr. Price traveled he found those suffering from a high incidence of dental caries (while living in close proximity to their brethren with a low incidence of dental caries) sharing a common water supply with similar fluorine content, were endeavouring to live on a diet terribly deficient in many minerals and vitamins.” WAP Website

How is fluoride supposed to work?
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth. When a person eats sugar, or other refined carbohydrates, these bacteria produce acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth, a process known as demineralization. If demineralization goes on long enough, a cavity is formed. Fluoride can promote the remineralization of enamel, thereby preventing the cavity from continuing to form. In addition, fluoride reduces the ability of the oral bacteria to produce acid.  The CDC

What are the rebuttals to this argument?
A good starting point:
“To illustrate the emotional vs. the scientific nature of this issue, just look at the response given by people (perhaps yourself included?) when the subject of fluoridation comes up. You need to ask yourself, “Is this particular response based on EMOTIONS born of TRADITION, or is it truly unbiased and based instead on thoroughly researched objectivity?” There is a tremendous amount of emotional, highly unscientific “know-it-all” emotions attached to the topic of ‘sodium fluoride’ usage -but I personally have yet to find even ONE objective, double blind study that even remotely links sodium fluoride to healthy teeth at ANY AGE.” The Truth About ‘Fluoride’

“Fluoridation’s role in the decline of tooth decay is in serious doubt. The largest survey ever conducted in the US (over 39,000 children from 84 communities) by the National Institute of Dental Research showed little difference in tooth decay among children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities (Hileman 1989). According to NIDR researchers, the study found an average difference of only 0.6 DMFS (Decayed Missing and Filled Surfaces) in the permanent teeth of children aged 5-17 residing in either fluoridated or unfluoridated areas (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990). This difference is less than one tooth surface! There are 128 tooth surfaces in a child’s mouth. This result was not shown to be statistically significant. In a review commissioned by the Ontario government, Dr. David Locker concluded:

“The magnitude of [fluoridation’s] effect is not large in absolute terms, is often not statistically significant and may not be of clinical significance” (Locker 1999).”

Fluoride Alert- 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoride

“Our modern dispalcing diet is the cause of tooth decay. Preventing tooth decay has little to do with tooth brushing and fluoridating water. If these stradegies worked, people would be having less and less cavities because most people brush frequently, and almost 70% of the United States now has fluoridated water.

Approximately 90% of people in the U.S. have had tooth decay at least once in their lives. This is a result of a “modernized” diet, consising of many junk and processed foods. The modern diet lacks the vitamins we need, and as a result our teeth decay.” Cure Tooth Decay

All dentists and scientists recommend fluoride, don’t they?
My dentist doesn’t recommend or use fluoride.  He’s also the only dentist in the area who would pull out the root canal that I had, which was causing health problems.
NoFluoride.com’s list of dentists, doctors, and scientists who do not recommend fluoride.
Fluoride Alert has a list of dentists, doctors, and others who oppose the use of fluoride.

What’s wrong with fluoride?
It’s poison. Most cases of fluoride poisoning come from toothpaste. (Wikipedia)

Doctors and public health officials did not think sodium fluoride, used commercially as a rat and bug poison, fungicide, and wood preservative, should be put in public water. The Journal of the American Dental Association said (in 1936), “Fluoride at the 1 ppm [part per million] concentration is as toxic as arsenic and lead… There is an increasing volume of evidence of the injurious effects of fluorine, especially the chronic intoxication resulting from the ingestion of minute amounts of fluorine over long periods of time.” And the Journal of the American Medical Association” noted (in its September 18, 1943 issue)” Fluoride Follies

Dr. Shames: Of major interest to us was the statement released Jan 2, 1997 from the employees union of the Environmental Protection Agency, representing 1500 scientists, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals at EPA headquarters in Washington DC. The statement reads: “Our members’ review of the body of evidence over the last 11 years, including animal and human epidemiology studies, indicates a causal link between fluoride/fluoridation and cancer, genetic damage, neurological impairment, and bone pathology.””

According to a memo by the Environmental Protection Agency, “very preliminary data from recent health studies … indicate that fluoride may be a carcinogen.””

Fluoride used by Nazis to sterilize inmates and make them docile. Fluoride a key dumbing down ingredient of Prozac and Sarin nerve gas — poisons of choice for tyrant rats.” The Truth About Fluoride

The ADA and the U.S. government researches know the answer that fluoride rat poison is unsafe and causes immune system deficiency, cancer, fluorosis spots on the teeth, skeletal fluorosis, bone pathology, bone cancers, increased hip fractures, arthritis and many other health problems”
Grady A. Deal, Ph.D., D.C.

Are there people who don’t supplement with fluoride who have cavity-free teeth?

Yes! Lots! If we look at Dr Weston A Price’s findings as he traveled to countries with and without refined modernized food, he saw a direct correlation between the introduction of modern foods and the rise of tooth decay- not the correlation of less tooth decay among people who had higher levels of fluoride in their diet or by topical application.  Go check out this link and scroll down to take a look at the pictures.  Unmodernized people with beautiful cavity-free teeth! And no need for braces to correct crooked teeth either, amazing, isn’t it? I highly recommend Dr Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration as well.

What could be the motivation for adding fluoride to water? Who benefits?
Fluoride would normally would cost companies lots of money to dispose of, yet since ‘there is a use’ for it, they don’t have to pay the hazardous disposal fees.
Another EPA official, Dr. J. William Hirzy, the current Senior Vice-President of EPA Headquarters Union, recently expressed a different view on the matter. According to Hirzy:

‘”If this stuff gets out into the air, it’s a pollutant; if it gets into the river, it’s a pollutant; if it gets into the lake it’s a pollutant; but if it goes right into your drinking water system, it’s not a pollutant. That’s amazing… There’s got to be a better way to manage this stuff” (Hirzy 2000).” Fluoride Alert

Sodium fluoride, a by-product of aluminum smelting, initially was used to fluoridate water. Silicofluorides (fluoride combined with silicon), wastes of phosphate fertilizer production, are now used almost exclusively for fluoridation.” Fluoride Follies

What kind of tooth paste is best?
I’ve looked at mainstream fluoride free tooth paste, specifically in regard to SLS and glycerin and have settled on just soap- I’m still happy with it.  See my research on remineralization tooth pastes and their ingredients.
*Use code HealthHomeHappy for 12% off a tooth care order from our sponsor Rose of Sharon Acres.

Is there anything less weird?
Your local health food store, and even most drug stores now stock fluoride-free tooth pastes, both for kids and adults.

One more thing: Don’t forget (I just recently was reminded of this) that any liquid-containing item (soda, bottled water, juice from concentrate, soup etc) may be made from water that has been treated with fluoride.

Update 2012: I now use a berkey water filter to remove the fluoride from our city water. I have a Travel Berkey with 2 charcoal and 2 fluoride filters.  See them here.

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